Robert Kennedy Assassination

Olivia Yoder

June 5, 1968, Los Angeles, CA

Senator Robert Kennedy is shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California presidential primary. Immediately after he announced to his cheering supporters that the country was ready to end its fractious divisions, Kennedy was shot several times by the 22-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan. He died a day later. Kennedy was perceived by many to be the only person in American policics capable of bring the people of America together.

(www.History.com)


Who is Sirhan Sirhan?

Born in Palestine, he confessed to the crime at his trial and received a death sentence on March 3, 1969. Since the California State Supreme Court invalidated all death penalty sentences in 1972, Sirhan has spent the rest of his life in prison.

Media Portrayal

NY Times Article

In this article, published by the NY Times on June 6th, the feeling is obviously very grim and sad. It gives details on who Robert was, JFK's brother, a loving husband and Father. The picture on the front page is of a dying Robert Kennedy on the ground. It also gives the statement from Mr. Mankiewicz:

"I have a short announcement to read which I will read at this time. Senator Robert Francis Kennedy died at 1:44 A.M. today, June 6, 1968. With Senator Kennedy at the time of his death was his wife, Ethel; his sisters, Mrs. Patricia Lawford and Mrs. Stephen Smith, his brother-in-law, Stephen Smith and his sister-in-law, Mrs. John F. Kennedy. He was 42 years old."

The article then gives a graphic description of why/how Robert Kennedy passed away.

"One bullet had gone into the Senator's brain past the mastoid bone back of the right ear, with some fragments going near the brain stem. Another bullet lodged in the back of the neck. A third and minor wound was an abrasion on the forehead."

BBC

The BBC article isn't as passionate about the passing of Robert Kennedy as the American public was. Their emotions don't seem to play a major role in their reporting. They breifly describe what happened and gives statements from onlookers,

"A witness said "Pandemonium broke out because it was a really narrow passageway - probably only about four to five people abreast could get through. Everyone was trying to get in there. It seemed like an awful long time before the ambulances got here."

On the side of the article there is a timeline of the Kennedy family. At the end of the article there is a small paragraph of his brother, JFK, and their relations,

"Robert Kennedy is the younger brother of President John Kennedy who was assassinated in 1963 as he travelled in an open-top car in Dallas."

Biases

Omission

Many of the media outlets have omitted the side of Sirhan in their reports, only focusing on the terrible death of Bobby Kennedy. Few report of who he is and why he committed this crime. History.com states, "Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, a Palestinian immigrant born in Jerusalem in 1944, moved to the United States with his family as a boy and attended high school in California. He later stated he killed Robert Kennedy because the senator had supported Israel in the Arab-Israeli war of 1967."

Criticisms

Historical

The historical aspect of the story is very evident in how people reacted. A body guard for Kennedy said at the scene, " We don't want another Oswald." Referring to the man who killed Roberts brother, John F Kennedy.

New outlets around the country made the announcement of his death to a horrified public who thought this was a part of the famous ' Kennedy Curse.'

Since the deaths the Kennedy brothers, extra security measures have been taken up to protect not only the president, but those actively pursuing the job.

Citations

"Bobby Kennedy Is Assassinated." History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

"Israel: Palestinian Gunman in Kibbutz Attack Is Relative of Robert Kennedy Assassin." AP Worldstream 13 Nov. 2002. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-69513834.html?>.

BBC News. BBC, 5 June 1968. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

Robert Kennedy Project